Willis Group Holdings announced that it has received official approval from local authorities to open a representative office of Willis Limited in Kazakhstan, the third office Willis has opened in the former Soviet Union, in addition to branches in Russia and the Ukraine.
Willis also announced that Simon Aubrey-Jones, Executive Director, Willis Eastern Europe, will lead its Kazakh venture. He is based in London, and has extensive knowledge of the region. He has “been involved with Willis’ Russian and Ukrainian representative offices since their establishment in the 1990’s,” said the bulletin.
Willis’ new “operation is located in Almaty, the financial centre of Kazakhstan. As a representative office, all local contracts and policies will be issued through Willis’ existing network partner in the country, CIS Risk Consultants, a Kazakh brokerage that provides a full range of insurance services.
“In addition to commercial insurance, the new Willis office will support both domestic and international clients with optimum reinsurance solutions delivered through the local insurance market and relying on Willis’ global placement capabilities.”
Willis also noted that “Kazakhstan is best known as an oil and gas producer, with all major international oil companies having a presence there. The country’s target oil production is 150 million tons per annum by 2015, equal to three million barrels a day, which would rank it among the top 10 oil-producing nations in the world. Kazakhstan is also a major exporter of grain and is the world’s largest exporter of uranium.
“Among its recent assignments in the Kazakh market, Willis was appointed by Halyk-Kazakhinstrakh AO, a local provider of insurance services, to arrange reinsurance for two subsidiaries of Kazakhstan’s state-owned oil and gas company: KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production and Trade House, its sales operation.
Aubrey-Jones commented: “Formalizing Willis’ representation in Kazakhstan underscores Willis’ commitment to this country and its future growth and development. We are confident that our investment in Kazakhstan, an area so rich in natural resources, will yield many rewards and we look forward to becoming a leading player in its insurance and reinsurance industry.”
Source: Willis Group Holdings